Chanel’s latest fine jewellery collection is inspired by the Coromandel – the screens, or decadent room separators, that Gabrielle Chanel had in every place she lived.
The Coromandel collection is made up of 59 pieces, with 24 entirely unique items. The motifs associated with Coco Chanel are reworked around three themes: oral, noticeably evoking her signature flower, the Camellia; animal, through the bestiary of Coromandel; and mineral, reflecting her love of crystal and gemstones. Today, when entering Chanel’s apartment at 31 Rue Cambon in Paris, it is impossible not to be caught up in the mirage of the décor as the he 17th- and 18th- century screens mask doorways, surround the fireplace and sofa.
“I’m like a snail,” she confided to Claude Delay once. “I carry my house with me… Two Chinese screens, books everywhere. I’ve never been able to live in an open house. The first thing I look for is screens.”
The oral theme inspires a cuff that is entirely reversible and reworks the geometric structure of the screens. The mineral theme is inscribed in the “Horizon Lointain” plastron necklace in yellow gold, dotted with clouds of mother-of-pearl and diamond that evoke a Coromandel landscape.
At the heart of the animal theme, birds ornament a diamond ring that sparkles with more than ten carats. Finally, the collection’s gems recall all the colours of the Coromandel lacquers: the greens of the Tsavorite garnet, emeralds and the more than thirty-seven-carat tourmaline on the “Mineral Vibration” ring; the red spinel on the “Floral Evocation” ring, and the ruby beads and deep, hypnotic black lacquer transposed onto the onyx.
Once again, the secret universe of Gabrielle Chanel continues to inspire today’s craftsmanship. Click through the gallery for some of our favourite pieces.